Winter Planning

I can’t believe its been two weeks since Gavin was born.  We are all head over heals in love with him.  Maybe its the hormone cocktail that courses through my body while I feed him, or maybe its because he is such a good baby, but I am completely charmed by his every movement.  He is growing so quickly that it makes me realize how quickly he is going to grow up.  I want to savor every minute.  My neighbor had a baby girl on October 31st.  When we went to visit yesterday I was so surprised by how much bigger Gavin is and her baby was almost a pound heavier then he was at birth.  Since I look at him all day long I guess I just didn’t see how much he has changed.  Tom and Brae are in love too.  Tom has been so helpful, far more then I expected of him.  Brae too.  I can’t begin tell you how nice it is to have several years between children.  Brae has been a huge help.  I remember struggling to get a shower once a week when Brae was born, but now she is thrilled to keep an eye on him when I have things to do.

I have been healing up well.  I felt a huge mental shift around days 10-14.  The fog that has been clouding my mind the last 9 months has finally lifted and I feel inspired to cook and create.  I even took out my long neglected sketchbook and began teaching myself how to draw zentangles during our late night feedings.  There is no sign of postpartum depression, thank goodness, just a happy bliss mixed with a bit of exhaustion.  My house is a mess and we still eat frozen pizza and Subway twice a week, but every day that goes by I am feeling more and more myself again.  I still have to take it easy, but I am so happy to be getting back to normal.

I have been thinking of my garden and blog a lot this week.  Making plans for the winter and for future blog recipes.  The front yard garden is going to be moved to the backyard as soon as its empty.  We are expecting our first frost in a couple days so I have some work to do today and tomorrow.  I realized over the summer that the front yard gets far less sun then I thought and everything suffered for it.  The backyard garden did much better so everything will be moved back there.  I have been thinking about what to grow and this season we are going to stick to a few varieties of greens.  My carrots haven’t grown well all year, broccoli takes up a lot of space for little reward, and the rest of the winter veggies are cheaper to buy at the local fruit and veggie stand.  So greens it is!

As for my blog, I am going to focus a bit more on healthier meals instead of baking sweets.  My little sister is getting married next June and I am the maid of honor.  I don’t want to still look pregnant in her wedding pictures so hopefully learning how to cook new-to-me foods might keep me on the right track to getting healthy again.  I already eat pretty well and want to share some of my favorite meals, but I also want to expand my knowledge of certain veggies and grains.  There are several veggies that I have either never eaten, like rutabagas, or have only eaten once or twice, like parsnips and beets.  I want to try out different ways to prepare and eat these neglected foods.

I already have a place to start.  The other night I went to my neighbor’s house for dinner and had one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten.  Her whole family is vegetarian, which I think is amazing considering she has three rambunctious preteen boys plus a husband to feed.  Her salad was made of baby spinach and baby mixed lettuce with shredded carrots and beets, hard boiled egg, chunks of avocado, and some cheese.  I drizzled Green Goddess dressing on top and thoroughly enjoyed every bite.  I will have to ask her for the recipe and share it with you all.  It was so good!  Growing up I rarely ventured away from the traditional side salad so I am excited to try some of these great recipes I have come across recently.

Roasted Beet, Pear and Walnut Salad from Love and Lemons

A Simple Tomato and Burrata Salad from Sprouted Kitchen

The Greenest Salad by 101 Cookbooks

Butternut Squash Salad with Farro and Pepitas by Smitten Kitchen

Millet and Pumpkin Winter Salad by Green Kitchen Stories

Do you have a favorite salad recipe I should try?